Photo via Thomas Goldman
Caught up with the dude who had the curtains on one of 2018’s finest video projects to talk about influences. And it seems like Jake’s Mind Field part (spoiler?) is far and away the most mentioned part from the past twenty years.
We’re never not falling off from doing this feature, but it is always fun and interesting to do. Request line for new editions is always open.
Marc Johnson — Transworld: Modus Operandi (2000)
I looked up to Marc Johnson for such an extended period of time growing up. His skating shaped mine more than anyone else. The way he skated, the way he dressed — I still wear white shoes going back to trying to look like him at one point in my life. Over the years, he stuck with me more than anything. I feel like anybody can relate to the way he way he talks about skating in that Modus part. He talks about how sometimes you go skating, and it’s just not there: that feeling of “what the fuck is wrong?” It’s just not there — your t-shirt, your pants, your shoes, and you just can’t force it. Talking about skating in that way that is super relatable.
Bobby Stewart — Dominion skateshop [now known as Venue]: Dominion 5 (2002)
[Couldn’t find this one on YouTube or Vimeo, but it is viewable via this link at the 30:50 mark of the bottom video on the playlist.]
This dude rode for the skate shop that I grew up riding for and for Vallely Skateboards. His video part was amazing. At the time, he was nollie flipping and switch flipping ten stairs, and for us in Richmond, it was crazy because his name was in magazines on Vallely ads, and he was doing stuff as good as what the dudes in the magazines were doing. He wasn’t necessarily getting too many photos in the mags, but he was still at a pro level of skating. I’d see him at the skatepark and trip out so hard; he was basically pro to me. He skated a lot of switch, and was kind of pigeon-toed but I always thought his style was amazing. I looked up to him a lot.
We still skate with him, too. He runs this car shop in Richmond, and in the winter when it’s cold as shit, we’ll go in there and skate a box.
Anthony Van Englen — The DC Video (2003)
I was seeing a bunch of footage of AVE going over the back of ledges, doing back nosegrinds and switch back nosegrinds at the time. I remember that being the coolest-looking trick to me, especially when you pop out in the middle. I remember going in my driveway trying to learn it exactly the way he was doing it. Even that part starting out with him hitting the sign — that DC part was raw and really blew my mind.
Anthony Pappalardo — Habitat: Mosaic (2004)
I loved the way he was skating, the way the tricks looked, and the type of spots he was skating. I always think about the backside flip switch manual across the top at Flushing, and the ollie up backside flip on the curved ledge when it kinks up. The way he went about filming lines in that part was really timeless; I wasn’t really thinking about skating in that way at the time.
I’ve also been to a couple of the spots he’s skating in that part over the years, and they’re so gnarly. You don’t expect it to be a spot that Pappalardo skated. That out ledge he front noses in Ohio is so tall, and he backside grinds that other tall rail in that part too. That was like Pops’ gnarly era.
Jake Johnson — Alien Workshop: Mind Field (2009)
This part reshaped my idea of skating, as far as a career and the process of filming video parts.
I was skating for Fallen and Mystery at the time, living in San Diego. We drove up to L.A. to go to the premiere. Of course, every piece of the video is amazing, but when his part came on, something about it was so eye-opening to me. There was so much creativity, gnarliness and originality. It’s hard to even put into words. He was about my age, he was an AM coming up, and he was on the east coast, just doing it. At that time, I remember thinking, “Nobody is doing that, nobody is skating on the east coast like this, and pursuing their skate career… like this.” It kinda freaked me out, like “wait, so I can do anything I want?” It was trippy. At the time, I was just going through the motions a bit, and that part made me realize that wasn’t the only way to be doing it. From then on, I approached everything differently. It was irreversible, you can’t unsee it.
I feel like I’m trying to channel Jake in some weird way for every trick I’ve filmed since then. My friend Cooper and I used to joke about it back home. We’d fuck around and try skating switch, and set our arms and feet up just like him. This isn’t even way back. This is like, the past five years of us still trying to emulate Jake. His skating was just the sickest shit to us. It’s cool to hear a lot of people feel the same way that part.
Not too long after that part, I got to skate with him, and I was even more blown away. I don’t think he was even thinking about it that much for that part. It was just coming out of him.
Previously: Ben Chadourne, Tom Knox, Louie Lopez, The Chrome Ball Incident, The Bunt, Lacey Baker, Andrew Allen, GX1000, Brian Anderson, Gino Iannucci, Josh Kalis, Sean Pablo, Wade Desarmo, Chris Milic, Chad Muska, Hjalte Halberg, Danny Brady, Bill Strobeck, Aaron Herrington, Jerry Hsu, Brad Cromer, Brandon Westgate, Jim Greco, Jake Johnson, Scott Johnston, Josh Stewart, Eric Koston, Karl Watson, Josh Friedberg, John Cardiel, Pontus Alv, Alex Olson, Jahmal Williams